Cloud-based solutions have grown exponentially in the past 10 years, offering secure, simple and cost-effective benefits – so why aren’t more users taking advantage of them? Simply put, people are skeptical of what they don’t fully understand, and when it comes to cloud solutions, there are many questions regarding the migration process. The security industry is conservative and can be slow to make changes, however, it’s not a question of ‘if’ they might transfer to the cloud, but ‘when.’ With that in mind, it’s the security professional’s responsibility to educate consumers on what has become one of the fastest growing solutions available to the market.

In an effort to provide guidance, these four key elements can assist in starting a cloud conversation.

Cybersecurity is Top of Mind for Cloud Providers

Perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions surrounding cloud is that it’s insecure. You might think because you’re connecting a device to the cloud, something outside of your network, that it poses a higher security risk than on-premise storage. However, manufacturers and service providers have invested significantly into data security, encryption best practices and cyber development. Cloud provides end-to-end security, which is safer than an onsite system. Onsite systems can be prone to damage through theft, server issues and hacking – all risks that are alleviated with a cloud solution. Providers are likely able to invest more into cyber security development than a business might be able to on its own. Additionally, with 24/7 monitoring paired with the ability to detect and respond to anomalies in real time, cloud providers know about potential threats long before local system operators would.

Cloud is a Cost-Effective Solution

Cloud solutions’ elimination of system components makes it less complicated and less expensive for an user – saving money in both the long and short term. A subscription-based model saves on time, management fees and human resources. In general, a cloud-based solution can eliminate four major hardware expenses - NVRs, video management systems, servers and panels. This gives the user a more scalable solution, leaving space for the ability to add cameras or doors to an existing system, without having to purchase additional hardware. This flexible, ‘pay only for what you use approach' eliminates a scenario where a user would pay for an NVR that supports 64 cameras, while only having 30 installed. Electing to use a cloud-based solution can mean reduced installation, maintenance or software expense.  

Cloud Uses Little to no Bandwidth

What users and integrators might not know about cloud systems is that they can operate without cloud-based storage.  A robust and open platform will allow video to be stored on the camera, or gateway device – enabling the system to run on little to no bandwidth. This on-demand approach allows users to request data only as needed. Also an option for cloud-based systems, a hybrid approach can combine on-premise and cloud storage. Completely customizable to the users needs, this allows for video to be stored in the cloud on a schedule, or locally on a bandwidth schedule. At the end of the day, cloud storage offers a number of options, all requiring little bandwidth.

Cloud is More Efficient

Overall, cloud is less complicated than a local system. Cloud solutions offer streamlined setup and eliminate the need for both an NVR and VMS, alleviating hardware maintenance and ongoing management. This plug and play ability removes costly installation and maintenance fees. Generally, cloud systems are easier to maintain over a period of time. Once a device is connected, you’ll know instantly if there’s a problem. Managers will be able to log in to the cloud and view network status from anywhere. With this 24/7 monitoring, users won’t have to worry about cyber-attacks or updates – alleviating upgrade costs.

When it comes to cloud, it’s important to not be left behind. Without a solid understanding of a new technology, it can seem complicated and costly – even when it’s not. Cloud services are expected to exponentially grow, in both demand and implementation. Having this in mind, a concrete understanding of the technology will help in keeping systems scalable, flexible and cutting edge. Users should focus on learning what solutions will best fit their business model, while integrators should focus on how they can help educate and answer important questions.